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Overnight Markets: Wall Street declines on Ukraine concerns

Overnight Markets: Wall Street declines on Ukraine concerns

Wall Street declined on Thursday after the latest tension between Ukraine and Russia and disappointing retail earnings overshadowed data showing the economy expanded more than estimated.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 42 points or 0.25%, to 17,080, the S&P 500 lost three points or 0.17%, to 1,997 and the Nasdaq Composite fell 12 points or 0.26%, to 4,558.

Ukraine's security and defense council said the border town of Novoazovsk and other areas of Ukraine's south-east had fallen under the control of Russian forces, together with rebels. The US accused Russia of active fighting in Eastern Ukraine, and said it was considering a range of responses, including more sanctions.

Investors are concerned about the potential response by the US and Europe to any escalation in hostility.

In economic data, the second reading of gross domestic product showed the US economy rebounded more strongly than initially thought in the second quarter, while jobless claims fell for a second straight week. In addition, July pending home sales rose far more than had been expected to an 11-month high.

In corporate news, Abercrombie & Fitch Co (ANF.N) lost 4.8% after the retailer's second-quarter same-store sales fell more than expected. Williams-Sonoma Inc (WSM.N) tumbled 12% a day after reporting its results and giving an outlook.

Whole Foods Market Inc. (WFM) slid 1.6% after Kurt Frederick, an analyst at Wedbush Securities Inc., initiated coverage of the stock with a neutral rating.

In the financial sector, JP Morgan Chase & Co (JPM.N) fell 0.7% after the Federal Bureau of Investigation said it was investigating media reports that several US financial firms have been victims of recent cyber attacks.

On the positive side, Signet Jewelers Ltd. (SIG), which operates Zales and Kay Jewelers, climbed 7.7% after reporting earnings that beat estimates.

RadioShack Corp. shares jumped 31%, the third straight day of double-digit gains, on speculation that the company will get a rescue financing package that helps it stave off bankruptcy.

In Asia, shares declined on Friday in morning trade led by materials and consumer shares.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index lost 0.2% to 148 as of 9:32 a.m. in Hong Kong.  Japan’s Topix index sank 0.4% as the nation’s currency held two days of gains, trading at 103.71 per dollar.

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